« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
that dire&tly or indirc&tly annex the above-mentioned reward to WORKS: And,
(1) To confideration, converfion, and exercising outfelves to godlinefs. Because he confidereth, and turn
eth away from all his transgressions, &c. he shall surely live, he shall not die.- When the wicked man turnelh away from his wickedness, &c. he • shall fave his foul alive.-Wherefore turn yourselves
and live ye.- Exercise thyfelf unto godlinefs, for it is * profitable unto all things ; having the promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.' (2) To doing the will of God. - He that does the will of my Father, shall enter into the kingdom of hea.
ven. -- He that does the will of God, abideth for ever. .-Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same sis
my brother and fifter-i. e. the same is an heir of • God, and a joint-heir with Chrift.' (3) To diligent labour, and earneft endeavours.-'0
of God, lay hold on eternal life-Work out your own falvation.---Labour for the meat that endureth • to everlifting life.---In so doing thou shalt fave thy• felf.---Narrow is the gate that leads to lif.--Strive
to enter in.---The violent prefs into the kingdom • of God, and take it by force.
(4) To keeping the commandments.-- Blessed are they " that do his commandments, &c. that they may, ere 'ter through the gates into the city,' i.e. 'into hea.
If thou wilt enter into life, keep. the commandments. Thou hast answered right: * This do and thou shalt live. There is one Law
giver, who is able to save and to destroy :" [some of whole laws run thus:
Forgive, and ye • be forgiven. -----Blelled are the merciful, for they • shall obtain mercy
Blessed are the peace• makers, for they shall be called the children of • God," (and, of course, the heirs of the kingdom.] • The king shall say unto them, Come, ye BLESSED " of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, • for I was hungry and ye gave me meat, &c. ** Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,
i knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the
REWARD of the inheritance': But he that does wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of persons.
(5) To running, fighting, faithfully laying up treafure in heaven, and feeding the flock of God. They • who run in a race, run all; but one receiveth • the prize : So run that you may obtain. Now they
are temperate in all things to obtain a corruptible crown;
but we, an incorruptible. I therefore so run -fight -and bring my body into fubje&tion,' [that I may obtain:] lest I myself should be cast
away :' i.e. should not be approved of, should be rejected, and lose my incorruptible crown. Fight • the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.
Lay up treasure in heaven. Make yourselves « friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, that
when you fail, they may receive you into ever• Jasting habitations Charge them who are rich,
that they do good, that they be rich in good works, laying up in store for themselves a good founda• tion against the time to come, that they may lay. " hold on eternal life. - Feed the flock of God, &c. being examples to the flock, and when the chief: Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive the crown. of glory, that fadeth not away.' (6) To a godly walk, There is no condemnation: to them, &c. that walk not after the flesh-As. many as walk according to this rule, mercy (be, or will be] on them.-The Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
(7) To perfevering watchfulness,. faithfulness, prayer, &c." He that endureth unto the end, the same shali: • be saved.-Be farthful unto death, and I will give • thee the crou'n of life. -Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried, he fhall
receive the crown of life. To him that overcometh, • will I grant to fit with me in. my throne. To him
that keepeth my words unto the end, &c. will i
give the morning star.- Take heed to yourselves, • watch and pray always, that ye may
be counted ' worthy to escape, &c. and to stand before the Son of 6 man.' In a word, .. (8) To patient continuance in mortifying the deeds of the body, and in well dcing. - - If ye live after the
flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live---For • he that foweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap
perdition; but he that foweth to the spirit, shall of • The spirit reap life everlasting : And let us not be
weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall • REAP' [not, if we faint or not, but] - 1F we faint not. - He that reapeth receiveth wages,
and ga• thereth fruit unto life eternal.
-Ye have your
fruit ' unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.' God,
at the revelation of his righteous judgment, will render to every man according to his deeds : eternal life to them, who, by patient continuance in welldoing, seek for glory.Anguish upon every soul • of man that does evil, &c. but glory to every man
that worketh good, &c. for there is no respect of • persons with God.'
Is it not astonishing, that, in fight of so many plain scriptures, the Solifidians should still ridicule the passport of good works, and give it to the winds as a " paper-kite p" However, if the preceding texts do not appear sufficient, I can send another volley of gospel.truths, to show that the initial falvation of believers themselves may be lost through bad works.
• I know thy works, &c. so then because thou art lukewarm I will spue thee out of my mouth. Grudge not one against another, brethren, left ye be damned" [in the original it is the same word, which is rendered damned, Mark xvi. 16.) If . we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we [believers) deny him, he will also deny us.-Add to your faith virtue, &c, charity, &c. if ye do thele
' things ye shall never fall, for so an entrance shall
be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlast'ing kingdom of our Lord. --It had been better for them, that have escaped the pollutions of the
the knowledge of our Saviour, [i. e. 'for believers) • not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.--- Every tree, that bringeth not forth good fruit,
is cut down, and cast into the fire.---Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, my Father taketh 6away--- Abide in me, &c. If a man abide not in
me? [by keeping my commandments in faith] he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and [he shall shall share the fate of the branches that have really belonged to the natural vine, and now bear no more fruit] men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.'...The figtree in the Lord's moral vineyard is cut down, for not bearing fruit.-.- Him that finneth I will blot out
of my book Some having put away a good confcience, concerning faith have made thipwreck.• Such as turn back to their own wickedness
, the Lord shall lead them forth with the evil doers.---Towards thee, goodness, if | by continuing in obe. dience, thou continue in his goodness, otherwise thou shalt be cut off.' Again, · For the wickedness of their doings, I will drive them out of my house, I will love them
-Some are already turned aside after Sa-having damnation because they have cast off their first faith-the faith that works by love-the mystery of faith kept in a pure confrience the faith unfrigned [that the apostle couples with] a good confience the faith that cries like Rachel, Gue me children, give me good works, or else I die
-the faith that faints without obedience, and actually dies by bad works; the following scriptures abundantly proving that faith, and consequently the juft who lives by faith, can die by bad works.
· When a righteous man + doth turn from his • righteousness, and commit iniquity, &c. he shall
die in his sin, and his righteousnefs, which he has done, shall not be remembered,' Ezek. iii. 20. Again, When the righteous, &c. does according to
all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall - he live? All his righteousness, that he has done, • shall not be mentioned ; in his trefpafs that he hath • trespassed, and in his fin that he hath finned, in them shall he die.' Ezek. xviii. 24. Once more: · The righteousness of the righteous fhall not
deliver him in the day of his tranfgreffion, &c. • When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live;
if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniqui. ty he shall die for it. Ezek. xxxiii. 13.
' It seems, that God foreseeing, the Solifidians would be hard of belief, notwithstanding the great ado they make about faith, condescended to their
infirmity, + That this is spoken of a truls-:ighteous man, i, e, of a believer, appears from the following reasons : (1) The rightcous here mentioned, is opposed to the wicked mentioned in the context : As surely then as the word wicked means there one really-wicked, fo does the word righteous mean here one truly.righteous. (2) The righ. teous iman's turning from his rightcousness, is opposed to the wicked man's turning from his iniquity: If therefore the righteous man's rightcousness is to be understood of feigned goodnels, so the wicked man's iniquity must be understood of seigned iniquity. (3) The crime of the righteous man here ípoken of is turning from his righteousness; but if his righteousness were only an hypocritical rightcousness, be would rather deserve to be commended fur re. nouncing it ; a wicked, fly pharisce bcing more odious to God than a barefaced Ginner, who has honesty enough not to put on the mask of religion, Rev. iii. 15.—(4) Part of this apoftate's punishment will consist in nor having the rightousness that he has done remembered: but if his righteousness is a false righteousness, or meer hypocrisy, the divine threatning proves a precious
promise ; for you cannot please an hypocrite better, than by assuring him, that his hypocrisy shall never be remembered. What a pity is it; that, to defend our mistakes we should fix egregious nonsense, and gross contradiction upon the only wise God ?
# These words are another indubitable proof, that the righteous here mentioned is a truly-righteous person; as the holy and true God would never say to a wicked pharisee, that he shall surely live.